US launches intercontinental ballistic missile for the second time in a month after warning Russia | The Sun

THE US has launched a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile for the second time in a month.

US Air Force officials revealed that they warned Russia ahead of the launch.

The missile was launched just after 1am local time on September 7 from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

Officials said the launch was an “operational test” as they described it as "routine".

Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder said: "The purpose of the ICBM test launch program is to demonstrate the readiness of U.S. nuclear forces and provide confidence in the security and effectiveness of the nation’s nuclear deterrent."

Moscow was informed about the test in line with the new START treaty.

It came into force in February 2011 and the treaty was extended by both Washington DC and Moscow to 2026.

The new START treaty is designed to put limits on Russian nuclear weapons, according to the Department of State.

The latest test event came just weeks after a Minuteman III missile was launched on August 16.

The vehicle traveled more than 4,200 miles as part of the exercise.

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Task Force commander Maj. Armond Wong: "Our test launches are scheduled well in advance and are not reactionary to world events."

Officials said there is a "meticulous" planning process that begins as far as a year in advance.

Col. Chris Cruise, 576th Flight Test Squadron Commander, said: Make no mistake – our nuclear triad is the cornerstone of the national security of our country and of our allies around the globe.

“This scheduled test launch is demonstrative of how our nation’s ICBM fleet illustrates our readiness and reliability of the weapon system.

Air Force officials have revealed that there have been more than 300 missile tests previously.

The Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile can travel at speeds of 15,000mph and has a range of more than 6,000 miles.

A test was due to take place on August 4 but it was delayed.

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